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Thursday, October 21, 2004 :::

The Magic of PubSub

I'm very interested in what PubSub is doing because of what I see as an untapped aspect of the blogosphere: real-time interaction. For example, suppose someone posted something in the title of their blog such as "hey, anyone out there want to chat about podcasting? I've got some ideas I want to bounce off someone." Another user, who has a Pubsub account with the keyword "podcasting" sees that post arrive in his Gush aggregator or IE sidebar (via the Pubsub plugin) in real-time and clicks on it. This is where real-time interaction is slightly awkward, given that the comments section on blogs isn't really designed for it, but let's say that the original user has Chatango on his/her blog. The two then begin chatting about podcasting, just moments after the blogger posted the initial message.

In this way, using Pubsub, every blog post becomes an "instant message in a bottle" that anyone out there with their ear to the blogospherese that might be interested in that message can click on in real-time and respond to. (At first glance, one might think that anyone with an RSS aggregator subscribed to any number of bloggers' feeds could do this, but that's not the case. With PubSub, you subscribe to keywords, so you don't have to know the blogger in advance, and aggregators don't show you each post in real-time, although PubSub does.) Such a medium, in my mind, would facilitate all sorts of blog-initiated interaction beyond the standard personal publishing/diary/news/commentary quality of blog posts (which is great, but I feel, limited). People could/would suddenly use their blog to engage in live Q&A, initiate specific-topic chats, meet people w/ mutual-interests in real time, sell things in real-time (with a reach far greater than any chat room or walled-garden community) sending an "instant message in a bottle" into the web by way of their blog whenever they wanted to engage in a real-time conversation w/ someone out there on the net (who they don't happen to know) but who has the answer/product/service/conversation/profile/purchasing interestes, etc they're looking for in a response.

::: posted by Allen Searls at 3:38 PM

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